Floods leave homes underwater and agricultural land unworkable in the west of Ireland.

In a welcome change in the weather, the sun was shining today at Shannon Harbour, a small village in County Offaly.

During recent heavy rains, the nearby River Shannon rose to a level that has left two houses in Shannon Harbour suffering severe flood damage. One local man describes the damage caused.

The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) estimates that up to 75 acres of agricultural land have been affected by the flooding.

Further west, in county Mayo, one man who was directly affected by the flooding appealed to the Taoiseach for help. Fine Gael TD Michael Ring says that somebody needs to take responsibility to help those most affected by the floods.

In Shannon Harbour, Minister of State Tom Parlon rejected any criticism of the role played by the Office of Public Works (OPW). He said there are plans for a pilot drainage scheme along the River Shannon. As Shannon Bridge is a low-lying village. The minister said that the flooded section of the village and the road will have to be raised.

He rejected opposition criticism of the government response to the flooding and said he had every faith in the flood relief schemes being overseen by the Office of Public Works.

On a positive note, Met Éireann says that the worst of the bad weather is now over.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 December 2006. The reporter is Barry Cummins.